The New Orleans Saints traded up to select Ohio State WR Chris Olave 11th overall in the 2022 draft. It ended up becoming the most important move of the offseason. Saints signed veteran WR Jarvis Landry to pair with All-Pro Michael Thomas, they combined for 443 yards. Mike Thomas appeared in 3 games before suffering a season-ending toe injury and Jarvis Landry appeared in 9 games. Olave quickly had to step up to the plate and be the first option for the Saints.
Olave tailed 1,042 yards and 4 touchdowns in a stellar rookie premiere. His best game came in week three vs the Panthers when Thomas and Landry went down. He knew it was his time to step up to the plate, he finished with 9 catches for 147 yards. Olave finished 2nd in rookie receiving yards in franchise history, behind only Michael Thomas (1,137) and passing Marques Colston (1,038).
Olave put on a route running master class in year one, coming out of Ohio State many scouts said he was easily an NFL-polished route runner. He can run every route in the book with finesse, speed, and precision. Since day 1 of camp, it was evident that he would have success in year one. But with all the weapons the Saints expected to have no one expected Olave to have this big of an impact.
Chris Olave tonight on MNF:— PFF NO Saints (@PFF_Saints) November 8, 2022
And this CLEAN route ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/m49sAzobiw
Chris Olave was snubbed from rookie of the year voting, but the Saints know they got a special one. In year one he caught passes from three different QBs, to maximize Olave’s play moving forward the Saints will need to find the future at QB. Late in the season Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed turned into a scary fast duo. The franchise's future at the WR will be in the hands of Shaheed and Olave.